1. If your teeth become sore after a visit

If your teeth become sore after a visit, we generally recommend that you take an analgesic such as acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) or ibuprofen (e.g., Advil, Motrin). This, of course, is the protocol only if there are no known allergies to these medications. Rinsing with Peroxyl or a cup of warm water and teaspoon of salt can also be soothing. Chewing on your therabite (occlusal waffer) helps, as well as chewing on soft sugarless gum.

2. If food becomes stuck

If food becomes stuck between your teeth, use dental floss or a proxy brush to dislodge the food. Vigorous rinsing and good brushing will usually dislodge most food particles.

3. If a wire causes irritation

If a wire causes irritation, push the wire away from the area using the eraser end of a pencil or a cotton swab. If the wire cannot be tucked away, cover the end of the wire with a small piece of wax, a cotton ball, or a piece of sugarless gum, until you can see us for an adjustment. A nail clipper or fine wire cutter can be used to cut small wires in the front.

4. If the main wire has come out of the brace or tube

If the main wire has come out of the brace or tube on a back molar tooth, attempt to reinsert the wire with a pair of needle nosed pliers or tweezers. If the wire is not sticking you, place a piece of wax over the area. If the wire is sticking you and wax does not help, the wire can be cut with a small wire cutter or nail clipper close to the back of the last brace. We always have someone on call to help you if needed.

5. If a piece of a brace breaks

If a bracket comes loose from a tooth, it usually remains connected to the main wire and is not cause for an emergency visit. Tweezers can be used to reposition the brace if it flips around the wire and becomes a source of irritation. Call our office at your earliest convenience. It may be necessary to schedule a separate visit to repair the loose brace(s), since repairs of this nature usually take additional time.

6. Loose Expander

If one side of the expander comes loose, don’t panic. We will have to remove the other side in the office. We will either rebond it or move on to the next step – bands and a g-bar. Please call the office.

7. Trauma to the Mouth

If you experience trauma to your mouth, and if teeth are chipped, call your dentist first. If the teeth are displaced or the wire badly bent, call the office. If we cannot be reached at the office, please follow the emergency protocol below or go to the emergency room.

8. G-Bar

If the removable transpalatal wire going across the palate is touching the roof of the mouth, call the office to have it adjusted downward. The tongue can push it up over time, and an adjustment is quick, easy, and painless.

If you have an orthodontic emergency that you cannot manage from home, please call the office at 262-694-5272. If we are not in the office, you will be routed to Dr. Crawford, Dr. Wright, or the assistant on call. The person "on-call" does not usually answer between 10pm and 6am.